Part II- The SF Marathon Race Day Support Crew Edition

Warning: this post will be more pictures than words.. Hopefully the pictures will tell the story.

Race day arrived after two days of expo fun.  Since I wasn’t running, I was asked if I wanted to volunteer at the ambassador/pacer tent. I responded yes without hesitation.  Like I said before, it was the least I could do to give back to something that has given me more than I ever could ever imagine. Honestly, I felt a little sad that I wasn’t toeing the line with everyone else.. The day was for my runner friends and I wanted to celebrate.  It was an early start.  I arrived at the tent around 345 am to help another ambassador and co-captain, Heather. We set up the supplies, cut up some bananas and tracked down some much needed coffee.

The tent was shared with pacers for the race. My twitter buddy Eileen Joy was pacing the 2:30 1st Half so I got to snap a picture with her finally! Mind my closed eyes! Way too early..

Other ambassadors started coming in around 5 am.  Though I wasn’t racing, I could feel the energy, excitment and nerves that everyone was feeling.  Before I knew, it was time to start. Below are photos before everyone made their ways into the corrals.

Prerace picture with: Heather, Corinne and Wes!                                         Photo courtesy of Alisyn

Prerace picture with: Heather, Corinne and Wes!
Photo courtesy of Alisyn

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More prerace pictures w/ Bonnie, Heather, Charles & Stan Photo courtesy of Stan

LA & SF in the house w/ my So. Cal. ambassador buddies Heather & May! Photo courtesy of May

LA & SF in the house w/ my So. Cal. ambassador buddies Heather & May!
Photo courtesy of May

As the race began to start, we cheered on many people as they passed. We called out random people’s names on their bibs. Some people looked confused on how we knew their name and others just smiled. I high-fived anyone who would take it. I also got good luck hugs from Taylor and Bruce as they passed..

After all the waves have gone, a little tiding and organizing the tent.  With the down time, we walked to the finish line. We were able to see the elite runners cross the line. By this time, the sun was shining bright and it looked like it was going to be warmer than expected. After some spectating, we made are way back to the tent. Little by little pacers from the first half came back.  Soon after, ambassadors started to come back. I remember giving sweating hugs and high fives to Erin, Wes and Paulette. One by one they all started coming back. So many running stories shared among everyone. I was also able to see my buddy May come back!

May and I at the finish of her 26.2 race! Congrats girl!! Photo courtesy of May

May and I at the finish of her 26.2 race! Congrats girl!!
Photo courtesy of May

So much awesome going on that it is hard to sum up TSFM experience whether you are racing or volunteering. Either way, I believe the race is a celebration of running and the community. Through this year, I have met people who have shared their running and life stories with me.  I am honored to be a part of their journey. Volunteering and cheering last week was the last piece to mend my heart from not running after my health scare in Napa.  Seeing people give it their best in pursuit of a BQ, PR or running in honor of a loved one was inspiring and brought me to tears as I drove back home.  The memories and friendships I have made will never be forgotten.

All I can say is thank you TSFM and 2014 ambassadors for allowing me to be part of the experience.  See you next year!

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Part I- Cleared to Run & SF Marathon Expo Weekend

I have been gathering my thoughts about the past weekend. I figured I break it down into two blogs because there is too much awesome to share in just one post. . It was different being on the support side rather than the participant side but I am so glad that I did it.

Earlier last week, the Cardiologist gave me clearance to run at my last appointment on July 21st. Just a little bit too late to run 13.1 miles in six days.. I was beyond excited but didn’t get to run until last Friday morning due to work and life schedule. I did two miles. Kind of slower than my usual turtle pace but to run my hood after a month off was welcoming.

With the Friday, pre-dawn run, I made my way to SFO to pick up Wes and May to take them to the city. It was great to finally meet Wes and reunite with May.  For those who don’t know, May was the first person I met from the 2014 team last December ! No visit to Bay would be complete without some Philz coffee so we did that. . Dropped Wes at The Westin and get May to drop off her bags. May and I decided to get brunch on Chestnut Street and hang out for a little before Expo madness.

The expo was held at Ft. Mason. Different location from last year.  I was stationed at the info booth and boy did I get a lot of questions.  From: Where do I pick up my bib? to What will the weather be like on Sunday? To my all time favorite question of the entire two days, Do I have to wear clothes on Sunday?  It was a grand time sitting and chatting it up with many racers.  Throughout the day, I got to meet people I’ve been following on social media. Special shouts out to my Friday visitors: BayRunnerJamie and QwietStorm!! I wish my phone wasn’t dead at that time so I could snap pictures w each of them! I was working the info booth w/ ambassadors Miriam & Stan on Friday.

Info booth w/ Ambassadors Miriam & Stan! Photo credit: Charles Lim

Info booth w/ Ambassadors Miriam & Stan! Photo credit: Charles Lim

But the most surprising and unexpected thing was meeting running king and Chief Running Officer of Runner’s World Bart Yasso.. It all started with a tweet..

Next thing I knew, Lark, the awesome marketing guru from The SF Marathon walks over to the info booth and introduces Bart to me.. Wow!

After the expo, got to hang with some of the ambassador team during dinner at Thirsty Bear. Special thanks to Wes for organizing! Truly a good time to meet and catch up with ambassadors who made it out! We also had Bart Yasso join us for dinner. How cool is that?

Aside

Training and Some Thoughts

Not sure what to title this.  I just have some deep thoughts to get down.  May not make sense to some but will try.

The thing about training, is that you learn a lot about yourself during your time on the road or trails.  Heck, you are out there for so long that you begin to start thinking deep thoughts about your journey. Case in point, this training cycle for The SF Marathon has been a bit different. Some of my long runs have not been with my group due to starting at the crack of dawn so I can attend family functions on the weekends. I do miss my group but being by myself on the road has lead me to think about life.  I never thought that I could run without music for eight or ten miles. Yet, I have and it feels good . Some thoughts I have:  how thankful I am to be able to run, figuring out how to work through a specific project I have been dealing with at my job or dreaming of what I am going to eat after running through the streets.

There have been training runs that have not been ideal. Either my stomach is angry or just feeling crappy.  As much as I want to quit at mile two, I dig deep and just keep going. Call me stubborn, crazy or determined.. Training your mind is essential if not as important when racing.  It will get you through the challenging parts of the race or when you aren’t feeling that you can’t take another step.   It takes a lot of guts to complete a run or any activity when your mind is telling you to quit.  Every time you push through the negative thoughts, you become stronger. Little by little your brain and heart believe that you are tougher than you think you are.  This is what I have been learning about myself this cycle. I am capable of much more even though things are not quite ideal.

Running like life is full of ups and downs.  You have to keep going in order to fully discover your inner strength and what you are capable of. It is then you will discover your greatness.

symbolic500

 

Happy Running,
Trish

Training and Some Anxiety

So after taking a couple of weeks off in March to nurse my piriformis, hip and back, I am back at the training. This training cycle has been somewhat conservative.  Taking the occasional second rest day and making it a weekly habit to cross train. My first two long runs I battled with stomach issues. I started to wonder if training would be rough this time around. I believe the culprit was that I OD on the morning coffee  Drinking two cups of coffee is not ideal before a run.

Last Saturday’s long run had 8 miles on the schedule.  Let’s just say that I had some anxiety the day before. I questioned whether I was eating enough food and hydrating.  I debated in my head between five and eight miles. I wondered if my body would hold up. I haven’t been this nervous for a long run in ages.  I slept terribly that night. Waking up on and off.  My loud old school alarm clock, jolted me up at 5:20 am.  It was way too early but I was ready to go.  I ate my English Muffin with Almond Butter and half a cup of coffee. Got ready and was out the door.   I was so anxious about the run,  that I almost took the wrong exit off the freeway.

As I gathered with the group in SF, I realized that the eight mile route covered the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. The first two miles were great. My legs felt strong. I was keeping a good pace. The climb up to the Golden Gate Bridge Plaza went well. Usually, I struggle with my breathing going up the hill but kept it slow and steady. This was the turn around point for the five miles. My mind was telling me to turn around but with a gentle nudge from others, I decided to keep on going. I downed some Honey Stinger Energy Chews during this time. As I approached the bridge, I kept an even pace and just enjoyed the views.  It was early enough in the day that there was no need for dodging tourists. The bridge is always beautiful but on a sunny day she shines brighter than ever.  My Garmin noted I was running a faster pace than I have recorded on my long runs in weeks. Score and a boost of confidence!  It was a welcome sight to see my faster friends in the 9:00 pace group as I was reaching the turn around point.  The return trip on the bridge was getting crowded as other groups were doing their long run. My legs started feeling some fatigue and cramping as I got off the bridge, so I slowed down the pace and kept telling myself, one foot after the other. I made my way through Crissy Field and back to the start.  Eight miles boom!

It was a big boost of confidence to get back to the eight miles. My legs, hips and priformis all held up.  My stomach didn’t disappoint. It’s good to push even though your mind tells you it can’t go. How else are you supposed to know how far you can go, if you don’t challenge yourself?  Having anxiety is normal but being able to overcome it is even better.

Happy Running,
Runner Trish

Link

SF Road Runners Kick Off & 2014 SF Marathon Meet Up

Last Saturday was the winter kick off event for San Francisco Road Runners at The Sports Basement Presidio.  It is my second year with the club. This is my first full year as a pace leader for the 11:30/mile group.  I took over the group over last year . It’s a way for me to give back and for inspiration.There were a handful of new runners in my group and I am excited to have them. I can’t wait to witness their accomplishments.   My legs and hips were not feeling to well so I opted for the 3 mile route and got to know a new member of the group.  Besides running, the best part of kick off was breakfast after the run. I saw a couple of my running buddies who I have not seen in months and was so happy to catch up with them.  Special thanks to Sports Basement for hosting our club and the twenty percent discount on purchases last Saturday!

In the late afternoon, I met up with some of the 2014 SF Marathon Ambassadors at Southern Pacific Brewery.  I was finally able to meet some of the people that I follow on Twitter & Instagram. Lots of great conversations and laughs with these people. I can’t wait to see them again.   Below is a group picture (photo courtesy of Paulette):

ambassadors

Some wonderful & inspiring runners of the 2014 SF Marathon Ambassador Team

L-R:   Andrew, Matt, Becky, Taylor, Meg, me, Paulette, Scott, Erin, Alysin & Chris

Hope all of you are having a wonderful week!

Happy Running,
Runner Trish

Berkeley 10K Recap and a PR

The Berkeley 10K was part of the inaugural Berkeley Half Marathon on Sunday,November 24, 2013. This race was produced by the same team that organize The San Francisco Marathon.  This was more than just another 10K race for me. It was to run for the victims of Haiyan. I raised money for AmeriCares as part of Team Run4Philippines. I was able to raise $690.00 through the generosity of family, friends and strangers who saw my posts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. I was touched by everyone who helped spread the word and donated to my cause.

The bib pick up was plain and simple. I made my way to Sports Basement Bryant on Friday afternoon to get my shirt, bib and briefly introduced myself to Lark Ryan at the SF Marathon Table. I also was able to stock up on some Pocket Fuel and Nuun before leaving. Somehow I can never leave Sports Basement without purchasing necessities.

Saturday night I slept terribly. I got at the most three hours of sleep. Maybe it was the nerves or excitement.  I got up at 4:15 am and slowly started to get ready. Shower, pre-race breakfast, coffee and checking my gear to make sure I didn’t forget anything. I left my house at about 6 am. Even though I grew up in the Bay Area, I hardly make my way to Berkeley and was a little concerned about time being the planner that I am. Driving was a breeze and was so glad I reserved parking at a garage. One last check of my gear and my drop-off bag, it was time to make my way to the portta potty and gear drop off. Not too many lines and I was off to the 10K start. Since my race started last, I waited on the side-walk and chatted up with a couple of people. One person I was chatting with was running a race for the first time and was nervous if her treadmill trainings were good enough. The other people and I assured this person that she was more than ready and would rock the race.

It was finally time to start the race.I kept my pace slow the first mile and really didn’t look at my watch. I was still getting warmed up at mile two but somehow logged the fastest mile of the day. Mile three and four I found my groove and was going my pace. I was feeling good. Mile five and six I did a little walking. It was a little crowded. I was scared to trip or fall on the rocks. I didn’t want to injure myself.   Approaching the hill towards the finish, I looked at my watched and saw that I was still on track to set a PR. So I gave the hill my all and ran like my life depended on it. I left it all on the course.  I crossed the finish line in 1:14:27 a PR by over TWO MINUTES! YAHOO!!

The flat and fast course was helpful. I just wanted to enjoy myself.  It was a glorious race day and I was able to help people in need. It was truly a race to put in the books and a great way for me to kick off the holiday season.  I totally would do the race again!